Which lighting is best for people with impaired vision? Do some lamps have a better light than others? Ultimately, people should use whichever type of lighting suits them best.

In this article, we discuss different lighting options for people with low vision so they can maximize their vision while reducing eye strain and discomfort.

What does the temperature of the color indicate?

Color temperature is measured in Kelvins or K. It ranges from 2,700 Kelvins, which are warm, yellowish lights, to 6,500 Kelvins, which are cool or bluish lights. It is usually, but not always, recommended to have a Kelvin rating of below 5,000 for people with low vision.

What color temperature is best for someone with vision loss?

It is important to realize that we all respond differently to light, and a color that works well with one person may make it more difficult for others. There is no steadfast rule when it comes to the color temperature for lighting, the only rule is that a patient should use what they feel helps them the most. With that said many patients enjoy lighting with full color spectrum or the option to change the hue of the light.

What are the different types of lighting for people with low vision?

There are several types of lighting available today with no compromises on style, décor, or functionality thanks to advancements in technological and interior design.

Let's take a quick look at the most common types of light bulbs:

Incandescent light

This light source offers a bright, "warm white" glow (around 3200K), which enhances contrast.

Halogen light

There are some people who prefer halogen light because it is brighter, whiter, and more concentrated. It is used in lamps, track lighting, and ceiling fixtures, and it is also available in adjustable gooseneck and flex-arm lamps. It is not recommended for prolonged close work, since halogen light is hotter and more focused than other types of light.

Full Spectrum

This color spectrum is closest to real sunlight and provides the most vibrancy of colors. This is important because some lighting can overuse light from the blue spectrum and blue light can cause glare and there is some research suggesting that prolonged exposure to blue light may harm the retina. Full spectrum lighting is available in LED and Fluorescent bulbs.


LED lights today offer a number of great advantages since they are bright like incandescent lights, but are more energy-efficient. They have colder lights, which are more on the blue side and warmer lights, which are more on the yellow side, and it does make a difference. A lot of people have more comfort and clarity with LED lights. They also last much longer than other types of bulbs. Another benefit is that LED lights come in many different forms from overhead lighting to table top lamps. It is generally our recommendation that a low vision patient uses LED lighting that is full spectrum or has different color spectrums. Furthermore some patients will find it beneficial to have dimmable LED lighting so that they can increase the intensity when needed.

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